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Region Wrestling Tournament: Region 1

Indians have five wrestlers with a first round bye

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Region Wrestling Tournament: Region 1

Senior Tommy Chiellini wrestles West Milford's Devon Fried in the 182 District 4 finals match. Chiellini has a first round bye in the Region 1 tournament after capturing his second District title as an Indian

Senior Tommy Chiellini wrestles West Milford's Devon Fried in the 182 District 4 finals match. Chiellini has a first round bye in the Region 1 tournament after capturing his second District title as an Indian

Molly Heintze

Senior Tommy Chiellini wrestles West Milford's Devon Fried in the 182 District 4 finals match. Chiellini has a first round bye in the Region 1 tournament after capturing his second District title as an Indian

Molly Heintze

Molly Heintze

Senior Tommy Chiellini wrestles West Milford's Devon Fried in the 182 District 4 finals match. Chiellini has a first round bye in the Region 1 tournament after capturing his second District title as an Indian

Jeremy Lesserson, Assistant Sports Editor

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After the District 4 Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 16, eight wrestlers from PV will be moving on to the Region 1 Tournament which will take place at West Milford High School starting on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m., when the preliminary rounds start. On Friday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. is the quarterfinals. Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m. is when the semifinals and first round of wrestlebacks begin. The finals, third place, and fifth place matches start at 2 p.m.

Five of the eight wrestlers placed first in their weight class in District 4. These five included Matt Beyer (152), Steven Soravilla (160), Luke Petaccia (170), Tommy Chiellini (182), and Jack Tsokanos (195). Jake Averna (113) and Andrew Demboski (285) placed third in their respective weight classes while AJ Menendez (220) placed second in his. Overall, PV placed 2nd in the tournament as a team with 170 points, falling short to Don Bosco who scored 184 points.

District champions automatically get a first round bye and avoid one-round elimination. The top four placers from each weight class get to move on to the state tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, which starts Feb. 28 and continues until March 2.

See the full brackets here.

Moving On To Regions:

Jake Averna (113)
Matt Beyer (152)
Stephen Soravilla (160)
Luke Petaccia (170)
Tommy Chiellini (182)
Jack Tsokanos (195)
AJ Menendez (220)
Andrew Demboski (285)

Pascack Valley’s First Round Matchups:

113: Averna (Sr. 11-8) v. Nicholas Patel (So. 27-3, Northern Highlands)
152: Beyer (Sr. 28-0) v. Alex Casiano (Sr. 25-10, Passaic County Tech)
160: Soravilla (Sr. 27-8) v. John Alvarez (Jr. 13-11, Vernon)/Steven Schubert (Sr. 26-7, Butler)
170: Petaccia (So. 26-9) v. Kevin McGee (Sr. 27-10, Pascack Hills)/Shane Simon (27-9, Wallkill Valley)
182: Chiellini (Sr. 32-1) v. Terence O’Toole (Sr. 27-10, Glen Rock)/Scott Schlett (So. 18-14, St. Joe’s)
195: Tsokanos (Sr. 21-14) v. Jackson Downey (Sr. 36-3, Old Tappan)
220: Menendez (Jr. 6-5) v. Jason Burklow (Sr. 21-8, Pequannock)
285: Demboski (Sr. 23-12) v. Remy Brancato (Fr. 30-7, Pompton Lakes)


Weight Class Breakdown

113

Top Seed: Ethan Fernandez (So. 30-4, Westwood)

The only wrestlers in this weight class that are upperclassmen include Averna, Sparta’s Cooper Stewart, and High Point’s Devon Liebl. In their wrestling history, Averna is 0-2 against Stewart. However, Stewart is 0-3 lifetime against Liebl. Fernandez was third in Region 1 last year at 106 and second in the Bergen County tournament this year at 113, losing to Emerson/Park Ridge’s Nick Babin in the finals by a 12-2 major decision. In the District 1 tournament, he defeated High Point’s Devon Liebl by a 3-1 decision. If Averna defeats Patel, he is likely to draw Liebl in the second round. Liebl, a junior and the second seed, has accumulated a 27-8 record and placed fourth in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex county tournament.


152

Top Seed: Robert Garcia (Sr. 15-0, Pope John)

Garcia and Beyer make this weight class quite top heavy, as they are the only two returning region placers. Last year, Beyer and Garcia were both Region runner-ups at 138 and 145, respectively. Despite placing second in the Region 1 tournament, Garcia was the fourth seed in the state tournament. He sat out of this year’s Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex county tournament, but Garcia dominated in this year’s District 2 tournament. After beating Newton’s Julian Sibblies in a 0:31 pin, Garcia defeated Glen Rock’s Greg Schlett in the finals by a 14-3 major decision. There are familiar faces in this weight class, including St. Joes’ Jean Carlos Sanjuan and Don Bosco’s Christian Jimenez. Beyer beat Sanjuan in their dual match on Feb. 1 by disqualification and beat Jimenez in the finals of the District 4 tournament. Beyer, a returning Region champion, would conceivably meet any one of Garcia, Sanjuan, or Jimenez in the finals.


160

Top Seed: Justin Leonard (Sr. 35-0, Ramapo)

There are no returning region placewinners in this bracket, but the likes of Leonard, Brian Soldano, and and Jack Bernik all look to be in prime position. Soldano, a freshman from High Point, has a 35-2 record and pinned Pequannock’s Jack Bauer in the District 1 finals in 0:35. Bernik, a junior from Old Tappan, has a 34-5 record. Soravilla had an opportunity to face Leonard in the county tournament, but fell one win shy in the second round. Leonard went on to win the county title, and never stopped the streak. He defeated River Dell’s Hiyuma Nagai by a 5-3 decision in the final round of the District 2 tournament. Bauer (24-11) and Nagai (30-7) are also in this bracket. Soravilla looks poised to finally face Leonard in the semifinals, as they both get an automatic bye to the quarterfinals. Soravilla has a chance to face Schubert for a second time, whom he beat to claim his District 4 title. He also has a chance to face Pope John’s Connor Fritsch again, whom he lost to in the Sam Cali tournament on Jan. 5.


170

Top Seed: Anthony Sciuto (Sr. 30-0, Northern Highlands)

Sciuto was the 160 Region 1 runner-up last due to a finals lost to Chiellini. Besides Sciuto, nobody placed top three in the Region. In this year’s Bergen County tournament, Sciuto was crowned 170 champion after he defeated St. Joe’s Jack Farinaro by a 9-4 decision. Farinaro is another notable name in this bracket, as the sophomore is 27-6 this year. In Pascack Valley’s dual against St. Joe’s, Farinaro did not wrestle. Petaccia placed fourth in that same tournament, and is on the same half of the bracket with Sciuto and Farinaro as the top two seeds. Pascack Hills’ Kevin McGee is in this bracket, but they did not face each other in their dual match. Petaccia looks poised to face Sciuto in the semifinals after their first-round byes.


182

Top Seed: Zach Mafaro (Sr. 33-2, Kittatinny)

This appears to be a contender for the toughest weight class in the entire tournament. In the District 3 tournament finals, Mafaro, a sixth place finisher in the state at 182, defeated Pompton Lakes’ Ramon Hernandez by a 1:25 pin. That was Hernandez’s first loss of the entire season. Hernandez, 35-1, pinned Chiellini back in the Lakeland tournament finals in 1:33 on Dec. 15. That was Chiellini’s first and only loss of the season. The two have an opportunity to face each other again in the semifinals. Also on that side of the bracket is West Milford’s Devon Fried, who Chiellini pinned in 3:30 to claim his District 4 title. Fair Lawn’s Ben Liss and Ramapo’s Luke Brantly are two wrestlers in the Region 1 tournament that Chiellini beat in the county tournament. Brantly lost to Chiellini by default in the semifinals while Chiellini beat Liss in a 13-6 decision in the finals. Chiellini also beat Liss in the quarterfinals of the Sam Cali tournament by an 11-4 decision.


195

Top Seed: Downey

Last year, Downey lost to Pompton Lakes’ Frankie Negrini in the Region 1 tournament third-place match. In this year’s District 3 tournament, Downey defeated Negrini in a 6-1 decision. Downey also placed second in the Bergen County tournament, where he lost in the finals to Emerson/Park Ridge’s Zach Lewis. Negrini and Downey are the only returning region placewinners in this weight class, but Pequannock’s Tommy Goodwin (32-3), River Dell’s Gunnar Nystedt (31-6), and Kittatiny’s Jackson Crawn (30-6) look to be contenders. Within the bracket, Tsokanos can butt heads again with Westwood’s Tyler Myack and West Milford’s Joey Heisler. Tsokanos lost to Myack in a dual match by a 9-3 decision on Jan. 11, but defeated Heisler to claim his District 4 championship. Myack and Heisler face each other in the first round.


220

Top Seed: Benny Dahdah (Sr. 17-1, Westwood)

Menendez continues his cinderella run, where he looks to upset once again. Don Bosco’s Thomas Dougherty, who defeated Menendez in the District finals, draws Dahdah in the second round after their byes. Dahdah was third in Region 1 last year, and moved onto the state tournament. The other former region placewinner in this bracket is Newton’s Luke Fischer, who was the 220 runner-up. Fischer currently has a 33-0 record. Menendez is on the same side of the bracket as Dahdah, and would draw the winner of Dougherty and Dahdah in the semifinals given that he defeats Burklow and Passaic County Tech’s Yosue Gomez. Menendez, while only a fill-in for the Varsity team for the majority of the season, has a history against Doug Korzelius of New Milford and Alex Kostantas of Pascack Hills. Kostantas pinned Menendez in 5:40 back in their dual match, while Korzelius was the victim of Menendez’s second round upset victory in the Districts.


285

Top Seed: Jonathan Alvarado (Sr. 21-5, Don Bosco)

Alvarado and Kittatiny’s Jacob Mafaro (23-2) are the top two wrestlers in this weight class that stand in Demboski’s way of a placement. In the Sam Cali tournament, Alvarado beat Demboski in a 0:16 pin. Demboski had a chance to face Alvarado again in the District 4 Tournament but came one round shy after losing to Tenafly’s Isaac Berman in the semifinals. Alvarado pinned Berman in 0:31, while Demboski beat Waldwick-Midland Park’s Varun Kumar to claim third. Demboski could have his shot at Alvarado in the semifinals and his shot at Berman in the finals. Another name in the bracket that Demboski could avenge is Pascack Hills’ Dominic DiMassimo, who pinned Demboski in in 1:06 in their dual match on Jan. 18.

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About the Writer
Jeremy Lesserson, Assistant Sports Editor

Jeremy has been writing for The Smoke Signal since his freshman year, and specializes specifically in writing for wrestling in the winter. He looks forward...

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